The Oklahoma History Center is presenting a special program titled “From Red Dirt to Rockets: Oklahomans and Space; Celebrating and Recognizing Oklahomans’ Contributions to the Space Program.” This event will be held on Wednesday May 25th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is a celebration of Oklahoma astronauts, scientists, engineers, mission control staff, and others who have made significant contributions to NASA and the space program. The event is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s “We are going to the Moon” speech. 


Currently five of the six living Oklahoma astronauts are committed to attending. Present will be astronauts Tom Stafford (Gemini 6 & 9, Apollo 10, Apollo-Soyuz); Fred Haise (Apollo 13); John Herrington (Space Shuttle); William Pogue (Apollo-Skylab); and Shannon Lucid (Space Shuttle, MIR). 


To date 14 Oklahoma engineers, project members, scientists and others from the space program have indicated that they will attend. Among the engineers, scientists, mission control and special projects personnel are:


John Aaron - EECOM for Gemini & Apollo, Asst. NASA Administrator for Exploration


Jim Bates – Flight Controller Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, ALSEP Science Mgr., Shuttle Flight Integration Manager, AMS Mgr.


Harold Burks - NASA Langley Physicist, Facility Designer and Manager


Charles Dry - NASA Sr. Systems Engineer, Apollo Test Crewman program


Jerry Elliott - Guido, Retro, Shuttle Project Engineer, ISS Technical Manager


Milt Heflin - EECOM Shuttle, Chief Flight Director, Assistant Director



Bob Holkan - Flight Controller Training Gemini & Apollo, Training Division Chief


Carole McLemore - Shuttle Ground Systems, ISS Flight Support, Project Manager In-Situ


Owen Morris - NACA, Chief LM Engineer Division, Apollo Pro. Office Manager, Dep. Mgr. Shuttle


Ernest Randall -Aerospace Engineer Real Time Computer Complex, Flight Training Br. Engineer, Chief Network OPS


Donna Shirley - Mariner 10, Cassini, Mars Program Manager. - Sojourner


Gary Tesch - Chief Counsel Goddard, NASA HQ Associate General Counsel, Dep.

General Counsel


Tom Weichal - Agena Site Engineer, RETRO for Apollo


John Martin Meek – Senator Robert S. Kerr Press Secretary


In addition, the event will provide an opportunity for the release of a new book titled, “Oklahomans and Space,” by Bill Moore. A preview of a multi-part documentary on Oklahomans and the Space Program will also be shown. 


The Oklahoma History Center appreciates the generous help provided by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and OMEGA Watch who are helping support Oklahomans and Space education programming at the Oklahoma History Center. 


The event is scheduled for Wednesday May 25th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., please no autographs at the event and seating is limited. Reception and dinner is $125 per seat and reservations are required.


For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (405) 522-3602.




Michael Dean

Public Relations Director

Oklahoma Historical Society

800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive

Oklahoma City, OK  73105-7917

(405) 522-5241

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